Posted: Monday, Jan. 21, 2013
Photo by: Nathan Abplanalp Photography
Sheri Riley is currently seeking a post-graduate degree in Invasive Cardiology. She enjoys sports and spending time outside with her fiance, Jeff, and their two dogs, Lola and Cami. She is getting married October 12, 2013. Contact Sheri here.
Lets face it - weddings are expensive. Little things add up to big things and before you know it, youre already a few thousand over what you already thought was too much to be spending on a wedding. Youll ask yourself on a daily basis, how is this happening? as your budget steadily gains its own weight. Ill tell ya how. The guest list.
When we first started planning, I thought our heavy hitters were going to be things like photographer, wedding invitations, and venue. But oh boy was I wrong. I noticed our budget grew quite substantially with every plus one or extended cousin we added to the list. While I wish we could make everyone happy, Jeff and I finally had a heart to heart and narrowed down our guest list to the people who are truly the most important and closest to us. I know some feelings are going to get hurt once our save the dates go out within the next few weeks, but it is what it is! There had to be a cut off point.
With about 150 people invited to our Charleston wedding, heres how we narrowed that number way down:
Dont get pushed around by your family. I know, I know, that sounds absolutely terrible. But heres the deal: this is YOUR wedding. Not your moms, or your dads, or your future in-laws (although you are of course grateful for their financial contribution). You need to decide who YOU GUYS want to share YOUR special day with.
Dont let people assume they are invited. Youll be amazed at how many friends come out of the wood-work when they find out you got engaged. Girls you havent spoken to in years will automatically assume that because you were friends 10 years ag, they will still be invited to your wedding (and will often ask when to mark the date off on their calendar). SUPER awkward. Feelings will probably get hurt here, but youve got to stay true to the friends that have stuck it out with you. And although it would be nice to rekindle a friendship from years ago, its a bit selfish for someone to try and play that card just because they want to come to your wedding.
Make an A-list and a B-list. Gosh, all of these just sound so terrible, dont they?!? Have a list of people you for sure want to invite and second list with about 10-20 people (maybe second cousins that you would like to invite, but just cant afford to). If you get replies back fairly early with a no, send out an invitation to someone from that I was hoping Id get to invite you list.
Create a criterion for cutting. Here are four rules Jeff and I stuck by when going down our list of invites.
Rule #1 If you have never spoken to, met, or heard the name of a particular guest, he gets cut. No matter how close they are to mom and dad.Rule #2 Little ones who arent family or part of the bridal party that will be asleep by 8 P.MRule #3 Single friends who want to bring a date only get a plus one if they have been in a relationship for a year or more, or live with that person. If they have been on and off for a while or you havent met them, its ok to cut them. Rule #4 Coworkers (outside of bosses that you are close with) get cut as all or nothing. It is unrealistic for people to think you can invite your entire office of 100+ people.Rule #5 If you cant say where the person is living, what they do for a profession, or havent spoken to them in 3+ months, they get cut.
Its tough, I know! You dont want to hurt anyones feelings. Youve got to do what is right for you and your fiancé though which means not starting your marriage off in financial ruins because of your wedding. Be a tough cookie and lay down the law. People will understand.
World peace and skinny jeans,
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